All the best things happen when everyone else is asleep. That’s what I used to think, anyway – that by straining myself to stay awake past midnight and sometimes through to dawn, I was accessing a special realm of secret genius. It wasn’t yesterday and it wasn’t tomorrow, it was just mine.
In my four-channel youth, the best films were on TV at antisocial hours. (Well, the most antisocial ones, anyway, and that’s about the same thing.) The best radio shows carried you past 12, and then there were all the other furtive teenage things to do – that, obviously, and reading difficult and dirty novels, and filling endless sheets of A4 with my hormonal inspirations.